Re-animating the Jump parkour animation with simple bot

Getting feedback from Sophie for this particular animation, I decided to go back and change the animation by remaking the jump parkour animation to improve the quality of the jump animation. The feedback mentioned in the previous feedback blog post says all the comments for feedback on this animation,  but the main concern in the feedback was that the jump from each block did not look very natural and the hips did not have a bounce when the simple bot jumps. So to change this I decided to completely start from scratch and re make the animation rather than editing the animation and risk spending more time trying to fix the different keys in the timeline. Below is the first playblast for the blocking pass of the new jump parkour animation.

Blocking

Above and below I have blocked out the basic key poses for each jump from each of the blocks on the floor. By remaking the animation it allowed me to go back and do something that I know I should of done the first time. As in the previous animation I simply watched the animation and went through it frame by frame it quicktime player to get the frame numbers. But this time I have decided to add the image plane, allowing me to add the reference footage that I collected from YouTube.

https://vimeo.com/217953487 

Using reference footage unlike last time has already improved the quality of the animation because the overall timing of the animation as well as the key poses look so much more natural than the previous version of this file. This blocking pass shows all the basic key poses and inbetweens for the main parts of the animation including hips, toes and legs allowing me to have a more appealing animation. The next step today will be to start splining from the blocking pass allowing me to develop the animation in the graph editor.

Splining

Below is the first splining playblast where I have used the graph editor to change the stepped graph into a curved graph. As you can see this has made the animation slightly more refined as the movement flows from pose to pose smoothly rather than jumping from pose to pose. But this playblast has allowed me to see what needs changing in the graph editor, as some of the feet do not stay in the right place or they move backwards slightly so those small changes will need to be edited.

Below is another playblast in the spline pass where I have started to refine the legs and hips in the graph editor to have that natural bounce when the character jumps. Plus I have made the legs and feet look more natural as the character leaps from block to block as seen in the reference footage behind. I have tried to make my animation similar to the reference footage in terms of timing as I want to make sure the actions look natural like the reference so keeping the timing as helped to achieve that.

The playblast I have developed animation further by using the graph editor to spline by right clicking and going to tangents and then selecting spline. This has allowed me to refine the legs and hips further to get that natural leap action on each of the poses. In this stage of the animation I can see that the actions look a lot more appealing to the eye than the previous version of the animation so the production of the remake for the jump parkour animation.

Therefore the next step today will be to start polishing the animation adding the toe rolls, eye movement and blinking. So using the graph editor I shall start to add those small details and refine them to make the animation more appealing.

Polishing

After splining the main components for the simple bot I decided to change the angle of the perspective view in order to start applying the eye movement to the character. Changing the angle has allowed me to clearly see the new add ons to the character, providing me with a clear view of both eyes and the other parts of the rig to see if they look alright in a different angle compared to just a side view.

Here I have managed to refine the eye movement and blinking by using some timing I found on the internet to make a natural looking blink. Furthermore using a different perspective angle I have moved the eyes around to follow the movement of the character, so the eyes follow the head without the pupils disappearing.

This playblast below shows the final animation sequence with some camera movement attached. By having the camera movement I was able to get a similar look to the reference footage. The reason for adding this camera movement was to show some different angles of the character, almost following the character as it leaps across the stage. By having all of the animation refined I thought that having a camera would help to make the animation more interesting to the audience.

The final step today will be to use the render view to check that the scene fits in the screen resolution box and that all the textures work with mental ray and the sun and sky lighting system in mental ray is in the right position before batch rendering the scene.

Final render

This is the final rendered animation for the new jump parkour animation where I have rendered the animation with mental ray to help get a clear lighting to see the character clearly, while also having that natural lighting which has improved the quality of the visual animation. Plus the production has gone quite well from the previous version as I have used the feedback I was given to improve the animation and get a natural bounce on the jump in the parkour movement. Looking at this animation I can see that this animation defiantly looks improved than before as the character actually looks like he is leaping from block to block rather than simply stepping with a unnatural jump.

Next I shall need to go back and animate another one of the animations such as the stylised walk or the normal walk cycle to help improve the quality of the animation, using the feedback given to me.

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